Monday morning was a strange media moment for me. When I checked my news feeds two articles stood out to me and a third was mentioned by another blog.
First was an article advertising that the local YWCA is offering an employment class just for women. It does seem like the answer to today’s economic woes is for women to all get out and work.
Second, nationally, was a book review on NPR of a book titled, The End of Men and the Rise of Women. Apparently women are now in control of this nation. That is reflected in many ways in the economy, from the percentage of the workforce that is women to the types of jobs available in this country. This shift is changing every aspect of our culture, including our most intimate relationships within the family. I found it interesting that the author uses the phrase “the entire world flips upside down” to describe this new reality, as if it were a good thing. Right side up seems like a better position to be in to me.
And the third article talked about how in the college “hook-up” culture, women are just as crass and brutish as the men, promiscuity and sexual exploration abound, and this is supposedly a good thing. It is a great progressive step for women, or so the article says. (The article was “Boys on the Side” by Hanna Rosin in The Atlantic from September that I am not going to link to because I don’t want to drive business their direction, but feel free to look it up if you really want to.) Do we really want to progress in that direction?
Before I sat down to read the morning news though, I’d read two other pieces of media that had a profoundly different view on women, the power they have in society, and what their relationship with men is.
I started rereading the Old Testament that morning and it starts with this:
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
Both man and woman were created in the image of God. Both of us have that divine potential in us as reflected by our image. And if it is not good for man to be alone, I can only imagine it is equally not good for woman to be alone (there’s scripture that says just that too – 1 Corinthians 11:11).
When I went for a walk around the neighborhood I also did some reading. It allows me to both multitask and keeps me from pushing too hard. I’ve been reading the book Faith Precedes the Miracle while I walk. That morning I read the chapter titled “Are You There, Mother?” The chapter is about the irreplaceable role women have in the lives of their home and children. It also talks about how children need to be given opportunities to work and have jobs. A particular paragraph stood out to me as it relates to the country’s economic situation and unemployment today, even though the book was published in 1972:
If a few million working mothers who need not work were to go home to their families, there might be employment for men now unemployed and part and full-time work for youth who ought to help in family finances and who need occupation for their abundant energy.
(Faith Precedes the Miracle, p. 121)
How simple a solution that is. How many of society’s ills that would solve if all children were secure in their home relationship with their mother and had responsibilities to help the family in whatever way they could. And what contrast it is to the news articles I read when I got home. No economist today would dare say that a solution to the unemployment crisis facing our country today would be for women to return home to their most important job, wife and mother, so that men could get jobs to be the breadwinners. Can you imagine the thrashing they would take for such a suggestion?
Sunday evening I got this text from a friend:
I’ve been reading your blogs today and I just wanted to say thank you. You and Brett are inspiring examples of an equally-yoked marriage. I often don’t have faith that such a thing is possible. Thank you for not only living that way but sharing it with the faithless. 🙂
I’m not sure exactly what made her say that (I even looked back through our blogs, the most exciting thing recently is that football season started again). But we appreciated it. We are doing the best we can to be equally-yoked in our marriage. And I believe that works in large part because we aren’t mandating that our halves of the yoke be the exact same. Brett and I are different. We are different in our masculine and feminine natures. We are different in our personalities. We are different in our interests and abilities. To ask me to pull his half of the yoke while he pulls mine would result in disaster (not to mention fewer holiday decorations). I don’t begrudge him his half and he does not begrudge me mine. I appreciate what he does with his half and he appreciates what I do with mine.
I am a woman.
I am a feminist.
And I will always choose family first. The greatest difference I can make in the world will be made at home.